Watch Cody Bellinger get his first hit with the Chicago Cubs

Feb 25, 2023; Mesa, Arizona, USA; Chicago Cubs outfielder Cody Bellinger (24) looks on from the
Feb 25, 2023; Mesa, Arizona, USA; Chicago Cubs outfielder Cody Bellinger (24) looks on from the / Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

After missing the Chicago Cubs' past three Spring Training games while dealing with an illness, center fielder Cody Bellinger returned on Wednesday and got his first hit as a member of the Cubs' organization.

Bellinger was a priority for the Cubs this off-season. The Cubs were monitoring Bellinger's status with the Los Angeles Dodgers as the non-tender deadline approached last December and once the 2019 National League MVP hit the free agent market, the Cubs were quick to express their interest before ultimately completing the signing during Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings.

Bellinger reported to Cubs' Spring Training well ahead of the scheduled report date of February 20 for the team's position players and has spoken openly this offseason about how healthy he feels during his workouts.

Bellinger signed a one-year prove-it deal with the Cubs as he looks to re-establish himself as a prominent offensive threat in Major League Baseball. An at-bat like the one that Bellinger had on Wednesday against Seattle Mariners' ace Robbie Ray is certainly the type of approach that the Cubs are looking for from the former National League Rookie of the Year. Bellinger faced one of the more effective left-handed starting pitchers in baseball and was able to smoke the ball to the opposite side of the field.

With Cubs' starting right fielder Seiya Suzuki likely to miss the start of the season, the team is going to need Bellinger to regain some offensive productivity. While asking Bellinger to be the MVP that he was in 2019 may be a reach, an approach like the one he had on Wednesday will go a long way toward the Cubs having offensive success this season.

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